Top ten sports to practice in Central Park

things-to-do Nov 27, 2020

Central Park is Paradise for sports lovers in Manhattan. It is equipped with designated areas, perfectly suited for every sport you can imagine! Softball, basketball, rowing, are just some examples of the sports that you can practice in Central Park. And biking has become somewhat of a subculture, worthy of its own article.


The place to rent a boat is the Loeb Boathouse, that has an “armada” of 100 boats, with 4 seats each. You can use them to row all over Central Park Lake. Kids and adults love it alike, and taking in account the size of the lake, couples use it for a romantic escape from all the crowds.

the lake
The Lake


One of the most popular sports around the globe has taken residence in Central Park. North Meadow Recreation Center is probably the best place to play it. You can even rent a ball, too! Another amazing place is the Great Lawn, where you can play and then enjoy some rest with a picnic!

Horseback Riding

Can something be more majestic? No, we don’t think so. It can be practiced all year long, and has traditions, dating back to the first years of the park. A great path to ride is Central Park bridle that goes around Reservoir and North Meadow.


Yaay! A great way to have some fun and burn some calories. And the large lawns are superb for playing it! You can grab your kit from the North Meadow Recreational Center with just an ID deposit.

Baseball and softball

There are 26 ballfields all over the park. It may sound a lot but you can barely find one free to play. After all, New York is the home of the Yankees, so you can expect cult following to the sport by their fans. There are six ballfields at the Heckscher Ballfields, seven at North Meadow (along with five softball fields) and eight at the Great Lawn.


The somewhat awkward of the two above, kickball has gained some popularity in recent years. There are no designated areas for it (yet), but you can see a game or practice on the ballfields.


There is no better place for yoga than the huge meadows of Central Park. You can find organized classes at the Turtle pond or the Great Hill. However, you can go wherever you like. We personally enjoy doing yoga at Sheep Meadow. The sound restrictions there make it perfect for finding your inner peace in a busy place like New York.


Name a better place for running in Manhattan. I dare you, I double dare you! Jokes aside – when you live in a trade, busy economic and entertainment center like New York, you strive for some straight pathways and fresh air for your daily cardio.


Remember the straight pathways that we’ve mentioned above? Well, they are well beloved by blading enthusiast all over Manhattan. The perfect timing during the week is 10am--3pm or 7--10pm (when park roads lack heavy traffic), and weekends when the drives are closed.


European football had a surge in popularity in late 20th and early 21st century and today rubs shoulders with basketball and baseball. To play it, you need to get a permit at the Arsenal building. You have to include the number of players and expected attenders. A downside is that you can play it from mid-September to mid-November.

Bonus: Rock climbing

central park rock climbing

Yes, rock climbing. You don’t need to go to Europe to enjoy a good alpine experience. There are three perfect spots – Cat Rock, Umpire Rock, Worthless Boulder (that’s actually not as worthless as the name suggests).

There’s more! The ten, mentioned above are just a small portion of the big picture. You can go skating at Wollman Rink or cross-country skiing (in winter), or swim at the Lasker Pool. Central Park loves sports just as much as you do!

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.